Syphilitic alopecia digital illustration

Syphilitic alopecia Save

ICD-10 code: A51.32

Disease category: A51.3: Secondary syphilis of skin and mucous membranes

Syphilitic Alopecia: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

Syphilitic alopecia is a rare form of hair loss caused by the sexually transmitted infection (STI) known as syphilis. Although syphilis affects multiple organ systems, its impact on the scalp can lead to hair loss, which is referred to as syphilitic alopecia.

Causes of Syphilitic Alopecia

Syphilis is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which is primarily transmitted through sexual contact. When the infection progresses to its secondary stage, syphilis can affect the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. The exact mechanism by which syphilis causes alopecia is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a result of the immune system's response to the infection.

Symptoms of Syphilitic Alopecia

Syphilitic alopecia typically presents as patchy hair loss on the scalp. The affected areas may appear smooth and devoid of hair, giving a moth-eaten appearance. In some cases, the hair loss may be diffuse, affecting the entire scalp. Other symptoms that may accompany syphilitic alopecia include fever, rash, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

Diagnosis of Syphilitic Alopecia

  1. Medical History and Physical Examination: The first step in diagnosing syphilitic alopecia involves discussing the patient's medical history and conducting a physical examination. The doctor will check for signs of syphilis and examine the pattern and extent of hair loss.
  2. Dark-Field Microscopy: A sample of fluid from a syphilis sore or a scraping from a affected area of the scalp may be examined under a dark-field microscope. This test helps detect the presence of Treponema pallidum, confirming the diagnosis of syphilis.
  3. Serological Tests: Blood tests, such as the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test or the Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) test, can detect antibodies produced in response to the syphilis infection. Positive serological tests confirm the presence of the infection.

Syphilitic alopecia is a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention. If you suspect you may have syphilis or are experiencing hair loss, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Treatment of Syphilitic alopecia:

Treatment Options for Syphilitic Alopecia

Syphilitic alopecia is a rare form of hair loss caused by the sexually transmitted infection known as syphilis. This condition can lead to patchy hair loss, thinning of the hair, or complete baldness in some cases. If left untreated, syphilitic alopecia can have severe consequences for both physical and mental well-being. Fortunately, there...

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